What inspires you to write? For me, it’s often something I see. Years ago, I was visiting a relative and saw something that snagged my imagination. This particular relative lives on the top of a hill in a rural area and you drive up a gravel-lined road to reach his home. Behind the house is a mountain ridge, thickly covered with trees.
As I was leaving the house at sunset after a family reunion, I spotted a set of bright lights on the mountain and asked my relative, “What are those lights up there?” He explained that the lights belonged to someone’s house. For some reason, that house perched by its lonely self at the top of a mountain ridge fascinated me. It was all too easy to weave stories around the house and its occupants — tales of mystery, intrigue and suspense.
Great art also inspires my creativity, such as Renoir’s “The Luncheon of the Boating Party” and Manet’s “A Bar at the Folies-Bergere”. The “Luncheon” features a group of people having lunch beside the Seine river and it’s fun to think about the stories of their lives (in reality, most of them were Renoir’s friends and Renoir himself appears on the left).
Manet’s painting is equally evocative, because you can’t help wondering what is going on in the barmaid’s mind when you see the detached expression in her eyes. Probably she’s thinking something prosaic like, “Can all of you just go home already so I can get off my aching feet?”, inwardly planning her day off or fantasizing about the handsome stranger she met on a Parisian street that day.
As a copywriter, I get some of my best ideas from the stock photographs that graphic artists use. I’ll see an intriguing photo and start thinking, “Hmmm…now what words can I marry to this image and sell the product or service I’m marketing?” Other times, a phrase springs into my mind and I’ll adapt it with the rest of the advertising copy to suit clients’ needs.
I enjoy blogging for its creative possibilities, but finding inspiration for a blog post is a never-ending challenge. (!) Once I get an idea, various things to say pop into my mind until I can’t wait to get to the computer and share my thoughts with everybody else. And isn’t sharing what social media and blogging is all about?
Blog readers: What are your sources of inspiration?